Death Rituals and Identity in Contemporary Guam (Mariana Islands)
Despite cross-cultural exchange and ethnic mixing over the last five centuries, Guam remains culturally a Chamorro society. Rather than stressing the ?acculturative forces of colonialism?, this study focuses on the survival of Chamorro local traditions and identity by bringing death rituals and native Catholicism to the fore. This study corroborates the work of several scholars who have emphasised the vital role played by Chamorro women and female symbolism before and after Spanish contact. It adopts a theoretical position, well expressed by historian Vicente M. Diaz, which conceives colonialism as an ambivalent and fluid process, involving appropriation and creative syncretism on the part of the colonised.